Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young has appeared in Narrative, Ploughshares, Huffington Post, Poets & Writers, Poet Lore, and other literary journals. She is a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review. She teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. and is a Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellow. An earlier draft of FLOOD was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Melissa was born and raised in Hannibal, Missouri and still proudly claims it her hometown. Her short stories are forthcoming in Paycock Press' Gravity and Grace and in the 2016 American Fiction Anthology. Her debut novel, FLOOD, is forthcoming from Center Street, June 2017.



A contemporary debut novel about living in the shadow of Mark Twain's legacy, in his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.

Growing up, Laura Brooks felt stifled by her hometown of Hannibal, MO, a place ruled by its past, its hokey devotion to everything Twain, the small-mindedness of its inhabitants, and the rich/poor divide that runs as deep as the Mississippi River. What drove her away, though, was the complicated demise of her love affair with Sammy, that fateful 4th of July when the levees broke.

Laura hasn't kept much in touch with Hannibal in the ten years since she fled, and her family doesn't know what to make of her turning up unannounced. While she claims she's just home for a brief trip to take in Hannibal's high school reunion, she's carrying way too much luggage for that: literal and metaphorical. Soon Laura is embroiled in small-town goings-on and when Sammy reappears on the scene, a deeper wound threatens to reopen. As the Mississippi rises once again, Laura wonders if running away might be the only answer.